Immigrant and refugee mothers and children’s health, Toronto event

CERIS – the Ontario Joint Centre of Excellence for Research in Immigration Studies – presents a pubic seminar on Immigrant and Refugee Mothers and Children’s Health Friday, March 6/09 from 12noon to 2pm. 

Two sessions. First, Dr. Laura Simich, CERIS Domain Leader for Health and Well-being presents: 

Meeting the Needs of Chinese Immigrant Families: The Case of ‘Satellite Babies’ with presenteres Dr. Yvonne Bohr, LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution, York University and Natasha Whitfield, York University. Discussant is Dr. Taryn Tang, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

The second session, presented by Dr. Olive Wahoush, Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University:

Preschoolers in Refugee and Asylum Seeking Families: What do Mothers do when their Child is Ill? with discussant Dr. Hayley Hamilton, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

The event takes place at CERIS, 246 Bloor St. West, 5th floor, room 548, Toronto. Registration is free at or 416.946.3110.

Canadian refugee health conference

The Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto presents the Canadian Refugee Health Conference from Nov 24-25, 2009 at the University of Toronto Conference Centre. 

Conference objectives include:

  • closing clinical gaps in refugee health
  • capacity building in refugee health
  • networking and information exchange
  • educating health care providers
  • building partnerships with refugee stakeholders
  • building advocacy for refugee and uninsured populations.

The conference, although clinical in nature, is open to everyone and the conference organizers hope to attract refugees, practitioners, advocates, academics and researchers to the event.

For more information, visit the conference website.

Managing migration in the 21st Century: North America and the internationalization of public policy

The International Migration Research Centre at WIlfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario is holding a policy makers roundtable on “Managing Migration in the 21st Century: North America and the Internationalization of Public Policy”.

A description of the event:

International migration is a prominent issue both within and between western industrialised states, and it has generated a growing recognition that effective national policies require significant international policy coordination. In the North American context, however, the increase and expansion of joint efforts to manage this policy area have been (in comparison with the European Union) so rapid and relatively uncoordinated that neither their extent nor their implications have been adequately outlined, never mind understood. The sheer scope of these developments can be seen in the fact that they touch on all forms of international migration to and within the region – legal and illegal, permanent and temporary, family and labour, tourist and refugee. The need to examine the practical features of such policy change is underlined further by the fact that they raise vital questions about state sovereignty and public accountability, for example, at both conceptual and political levels in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

The event will take place April 17, 2009. Location still TBD. For more info, contact Dr. Jenna L. Hennebry,, 519.884.0170 ext 4489.

Annual report to Parliament on multiculturalism

The Annual Report to Parliament on the Operation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act 2007-2008 is now available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.

The report acknowledges the “important development in Government policy, when the Prime Minister decided to link Multiculturalism policy and programs with those at Citizenship and Immigration Canada…

This brings all the key policy and program elements together and allows for greater coordination between the Government’s settlement programs for newcomers and its programs to promote further inclusion, participation and shared citizenship for all Canadians”.

Section 1 captures demographic information, Section 2 examines the Multicultural Program and Section 3 outlines how seven federal agencies have incorporated/addressed multiculturalism in its programs. 

Related to children and families, these items: A booklet (What’s Next) for children as part of a domestic violence prevention initiative of the Department of Justice was translated into several languages.

The Canada Revenue Agency included their “Tax Tips to Go” in several languages (including Children’s Fitness Tax Credit).

Canadian Council on Refugees annual report, 2008

The Canadian Council on Refugees (CCR) Annual Status Report on Refugee and Immigrant Rights in Canada, 2008 addresses three items related to immigrant and refugee children’s rights and family issues:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) adopted new guidelines for officers conducting eligibility interviews with children making refugee claims, including children separated from their parent(s).

CIC responded to concerns about families kept separate by the “excluded family member” rule by intervening to reunite several families and initiating measures for internal processes. Processing times still significantly lag.

Changes to the Citizenship Act raises concerns among some about the “stateless child”: a child born abroad to Canadian parents (who were themselves born abroad to a Canadian citizen) will not be Canadian citizens.

See the full report at the CCR site.

Standing committee on citizenship & immigration (CIMM)

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) has been established as follows:


David Tilson, MP for Dufferin-Caledan ON

Vice Chairs:

The Honourable Maurizio Bevilacqua, MP for Vaughn ON

Thierry St-Cyr, MP for Jeanne Le-Bar QC


Paul Calendra, MP for Oak Ridges-Markham ON

Olivia Chow, MP for Trinity-Spadina

Jean Dorion, MP for Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher

Rick Dykstra, MP for St. Catharines ON

Nina Grewal, MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells BC

Jim Karygiannis, MP for Scarborough Agincourt ON

Alexandra Mendes, MP for Brossard-La Prairie QC

Devinder Shory, MP for Calgary Northeast AB

Alice Wong, MP for Richmond BC

Social Policy Report: Children in immigrant families

The Society for Research in Child Development has released a Social Policy Report entitled “Children in Immigrant Families: Looking to America’s Future”. From the Abstract:

Children in immigrant families account for nearly one-in-four children in the U.S. They are the fastest growing population of children, and they are leading the nation’s racial and ethnic transformation. As a consequence, baby-boomers will depend heavily for economic support during retirement on race-ethnic minorities, many of whom grew up in immigrant families. Because the current circumstances and future prospects of children in immigrant families are important not only to these children themselves, but to all Americans, this report uses data from Census 2000 to portray the lives of children with immigrant parents and highlights policy and program initiatives that will foster the future success of these children.